As I excitedly count down the days until school starts on Monday, August 10th, I am also taking time to look over my three month and six month goals to see how I’m doing so far, and reviewing my 12 month goals to make sure I’m on course. Goals are an important way of measuring progress for any business.
Writing down goals is a good idea. It serves as inspiration and a reminder about the areas of your business plan that require more effort. I take time to write down three month, six month and 12 month goals accordingly. As with any other goals, you want to make them realistically attainable, yet challenging enough to continue growing your business. Here are a few goals to consider:
You’re in this to make money, right? Even if you’re just getting started, setting an income goal can help you access your progress. Start by setting your rates. Decide whether you will provide hourly services or charge a flat rate. Be careful not to undercharge your freelance writing services in the beginning.
Once your rates are set, determine how much money you need to cover your living expenses. From there you can figure out how many projects you’ll need to meet your monthly goal. As you gain experience, you may decide to increase your income requirements accordingly.
In order to get clients you’ll need a marketing plan. First, you’ll need to figure out who you’re marketing to. Think long and hard about the type of client that would pay for your services. Think about what type of business he would run, and the best way to appeal to him: a phone call, email, brochure or direct response package? Develop a consistent marketing plan to get their attention and go for it!
Make sure to track and record your results. This is important because you will learn which methods work and which is a waste of time.
As a mom of four small kids, the majority of my networking experience over the past two years has been online. However, as my business grows, I am turning to a mix of online and offline networking opportunities. I frequent certain writer and marketing forums and participate in social media conversations on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But this year I’m venturing out of my comfort zone to join my local Chamber of Commerce, a couple of meetup.com groups and a realtors association (one of my niches). I have also accepted an invitation to speak at local event at the end of the year.
It’s a good idea to review the writing services you offer. You may be missing one or two that could bring in extra money or you may offer one that no one ever seems to need. In most cases it’s just a matter of tweaking your marketing strategy so that you’re targeting the right market.
Many experts advocate specializing rather than being known as a jack-of-all-trades. They say it’s better to be known as the go to person for a certain industry or type of writing (e.g. sales letters, ebooks, SEO copywriting, etc.). I actually agree with this to some degree, but if you don’t have a specialty, don’t panic. Take your time to find out what you like by doing a little bit of everything.